What is the "balance" one's body needs for health? - Mothering Forums

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Old 07-19-2010, 05:31 AM - Thread Starter
 
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On these forums I've read a lot about how in order to fight disease effectively one must have the right balance in their body. I think I mostly agree with this, in that I feel proper nutrition and adequate exercise is necessary for ideal health. But I also have questions on the matter:

1. What is the right balance? Is there a formula? Is it specific?
2. Does the right balance differ from person to person? For example, one person may need more zinc than another, etc?
3. Does maintaining the right balance make a person impervious to illness?
4. If there is such a thing as a proper balance, is it specific or does it have a range? For example: So and so's ideal amount of potassium is between x amount and y amount. Anywhere within that spectrum is equallly ideal for her.
5. If the right balance is different for each individual, can it ever truly be found?
For example, say I think I'm healthy and meeting my nutritional needs. But I get a cold. Many would say my body is not in balance. So I make changes and get sick again some day. So I make changes and get sick again some day. Etc. Which I guess would lead me to ask:
6. Does an ideal balance really exist?
and
7. If a person gets sick, does that automatically mean that their bodies aren't in balance? (Which I guess is a very similar question to number 3, haha)

Just some things that I've been thinking about. I have some feelings on the matters I mentioned, but few solid answers. What do you think?
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Old 07-19-2010, 10:51 AM
 
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Originally Posted by heathergirl67 View Post
On these forums I've read a lot about how in order to fight disease effectively one must have the right balance in their body. I think I mostly agree with this, in that I feel proper nutrition and adequate exercise is necessary for ideal health. But I also have questions on the matter:

1. What is the right balance? Is there a formula? Is it specific?
No, it varies from person to person and will even vary in the same person depending on several factors.
2. Does the right balance differ from person to person? For example, one person may need more zinc than another, etc?
see above!
3. Does maintaining the right balance make a person impervious to illness?
Nope, and you wouldn't want it to. The issue is that you can overcome it with minimal intervention....your immune system is primed.
4. If there is such a thing as a proper balance, is it specific or does it have a range? For example: So and so's ideal amount of potassium is between x amount and y amount. Anywhere within that spectrum is equallly ideal for her.
again, it will change from person to person and from time to time in her life. Sometimes I need more mag than others. It also isn't just about nutrition-but since that's the example you are using I responded to that point.
5. If the right balance is different for each individual, can it ever truly be found?
For example, say I think I'm healthy and meeting my nutritional needs. But I get a cold. Many would say my body is not in balance. So I make changes and get sick again some day. So I make changes and get sick again some day. Etc. Which I guess would lead me to ask:
6. Does an ideal balance really exist?
not in the way that you are thinking of it...it's not just about food, it's about healthy life experiences, using your body, thought patterns, responses to stimuli, coping mechanisms, etc. Health is a balance between those things. Not cal/mag.
and
7. If a person gets sick, does that automatically mean that their bodies aren't in balance? (Which I guess is a very similar question to number 3, haha)
nope, it's only if they are always sick, can't kick it, it drains their vitality etc. Being sick isn't the problem, that can be a healthy response. It's also a way the body clears stuff out. It's not something to be feared. However, the balance exists in the fact that if you are always sick and therefore not able to participate in life/follow your calling that's an issue.

Just some things that I've been thinking about. I have some feelings on the matters I mentioned, but few solid answers. What do you think?
Just a few thoughts...it's a great discussion to have!
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Old 07-19-2010, 11:02 AM
 
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I'll go back and say it's important in a discussion like this to define health. Perhaps an easier way to say this would have been: I believe that health is a dynamic thing. We are always adapting, so to me, being healthy means being able to properly adapt (physically, mentally, emotionally) the the world around you.

The reason the mind/body connection is often cited is because it exists. Being stressed/fearful/anxious/depressed increases your need for certain nutrients (and perhaps may signify that there are others that are present in suboptimal quantities.) The mental/emotional imbalance has physical ramifications. However the fix isn't always nutritional. You can balance your body with happiness, joy, peace etc. It may take longer, but if you can engage in activities that bring you peace or balance then you are in less of a "survival" place and more able to handle what life throws at you.

It has been shown in many studies that people with more positive outlooks have more positive outcomes. Okay, so is that because more positive people have better tools (ie nutrients present in optimal quantities) so they are ABLE to have a better outlook? I think that may be true. However, I think that we are all able to overcome that by working with neural pathways and changing the way we think. If you create a new experience by forming a new pattern in your life-the physiology will generally follow. This is not to say that nutrition isn't the foundation. It most certainly is. However a healthy mindset can quite often overcome nutrient deficiencies, or make better use of what is available at the very least.

Before anyone gets all fired up, no. I don't think that because someone is sick it is their fault. I don't think that a child with cancer is a negative person. I also am not saying that vitamins will cure the cancer. All I'm saying is that in every person there is a way to optimize health. And it's never going to be about simply addressing their diets.
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Old 07-19-2010, 11:09 AM
 
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Very interesting! I've had a lot of the same questions.
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Old 07-21-2010, 06:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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That's a good point. Mental health is often overlooked, but very important, IMO, to your overall well-being. So, getting oneself into a calm, settled place is a facet of keeping your body in balance. What else is there? Vitamins? How much?
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Old 07-21-2010, 07:09 PM
 
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There is also the aspect of your nutrition effecting your mental state. Despite your best efforts peace and calm may be impossible until your nutritional issues are addressed. Some people's "allergic" (for lack of a better word) responce to certain foods is anger or depression and if they don't ever remove that food from their regular diet they may never realize peace and happiness. A significant portion of people with scitzophrenia would be cured by a gluten free diet. Again it isn't about intention it is about food.

I'm not saying that attitude doesn't matter but perhaps it is a chicken and egg thing. those with the best outcomes had the healthiest balance/bodies already that allowed them to have a positive attitude. See what I am saying?

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Old 07-21-2010, 07:22 PM
 
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those with the best outcomes had the healthiest balance/bodies already that allowed them to have a positive attitude. See what I am saying?
Hmmm, not sure what to say about that. If extreme pathological conditions exist I'm not sure that point is valid. If someone has a devastating illness that is destroying their body but maintaining a great attitude I don't think I'd argue that it was because they had the reserves to do it! Nutrition is the foundation, but I think there's more to it than that.
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Old 07-21-2010, 10:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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There is also the aspect of your nutrition effecting your mental state. Despite your best efforts peace and calm may be impossible until your nutritional issues are addressed. Some people's "allergic" (for lack of a better word) responce to certain foods is anger or depression and if they don't ever remove that food from their regular diet they may never realize peace and happiness. A significant portion of people with scitzophrenia would be cured by a gluten free diet. Again it isn't about intention it is about food.

I'm not saying that attitude doesn't matter but perhaps it is a chicken and egg thing. those with the best outcomes had the healthiest balance/bodies already that allowed them to have a positive attitude. See what I am saying?
What are you basing that on?
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Old 07-21-2010, 10:53 PM
 
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16423158
http://autoimmunedisease.suite101.co...d_autoimmunity
http://celiacdisease.about.com/b/200...and-gluten.htm
http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Schizo.....-a0118109934


It is being legitimately studied. However to say a significant portion may be overstating it at this time and maybe "would" should be "could." It's not that out there though. I think it's fair to say that removing gluten in someone with a family history of schizophrenia could help. It certainly won't hurt.
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Old 07-22-2010, 01:16 AM
 
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(didn't read your links yet not sure how long I have till the toddler wakes again)

By significant I didn't mean most or even half but I do mean more than one or two people. It was an old study and frankly I don't have my references. I read it in Breaking the Vicious Cycle. My point was that nutrition can have a huge impact on the brain and mood and for some despite all their best efforts to have a positive attitude it may be nearly impossible until they can correct some underlying nutritional issue. I think it is complicated.

I also wasn't saying that a positive attitude means a healthy/balanced body. Just that when the body is out of balance being positive/happy may be impossible for some because of nutritional issues, not because they choose to be unhappy. Others won't be effected that way by imbalance and will be the life of the party on their (early) death bed.

(ok now I'll read your references if I have time)

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Old 07-22-2010, 01:26 AM
 
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as best as I can tell from a quick re-read of the relevant chapter I overstated the evidence presented in that book. I could have sworn that there was a case study where 1/3 of schitzophrenics were recovered on a gluten free diet but I am not finding it. Either it is twisted arround in my brain with all the rest of the stuff I have read over the past 4 years or I'm just not remembering where to look for it. (I've had that sort of thing happen a lot lately. Quite maddening!)

The relevant chapter in that book just talks about people being recovered from mental illnesses from diet changed but doesn't say what percentage were recovered and what percentage had what illness (schitzophrenia is listed as one)

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Old 07-22-2010, 03:10 AM - Thread Starter
 
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That's awesome! I had no idea! I have family members who I'll definitely be telling about this. Thanks for the info.
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Old 07-22-2010, 08:20 PM
 
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I think nutrition, exercise, stress, sleep, are all huge. Everyone's needs are different. We need to tune into our own body's (and spirit's) needs. I am reading a life-changing (for me) book right now called "Why Some People Don't Heal, and How They Can." Spiritual growth and addressing old wounds I now believe are as important, or more, than diet. And I used to put 100% stock in diet. This book is geared toward people with chronic illness but I think everyone should read it!!!

As far as nutrition goes, I haven't found anything better than the GAPS diet, which is "version 2.0" of the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) that is described in the book PB mentioned (breaking the viscious cycle). GAPS has a different tweak on the probiotics (bifidus is neccessary in the gut, SCD forbids it), emphasizes detox support, and adds parasite cleanses (if you are starving out yeasts and bacteria, parasites can gain an upper hand, if not treated, since they can also feed on amino acids not just sugars). Nutritional deficiencies and mental illness have a very real connection... they are recommending dietary changes for bipolar now... some people can correct deficiencies with diet alone but some people need extra help in the form of supplements. I think everyone should pay attention to B vitamins (all), minerals, and fat soluable vitamins (ADEK) as these are what tend to be not absorbed well in people with leaky gut.
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